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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

Everyone met at Tommy Earp's rooms, and from
there we went back to the Randolph and sat down-
stairs and talked and drank. Roy Campbell was
about seventeen and very beautiful indeed. He had
the most wonderful grey eyes with long black eye-
lashes. He spoke with an odd gruff voice and a
funny accent. He sang Kaffir songs. He gave me a
nice copy of the poems of Arthur Rimbaud; he
presented them to me at the Randolph, rather in the
manner of a headmaster presenting a prize to the
head of the class. He had just worked his way from
South Africa in a tramp steamer. Tommy Earp was
the President of the Union. He had wonderful hair,
which sometimes he allowed us to stroke. It grew
straight up like grass and felt like a doormat. We
dined at the George, the Mitre, and the Golden
Cross, and I was as nearly in Paradise as it was
possible to be. Tommy said extraordinary things.
One day someone said something about bunions,
and somebody else said, "What are bunions? ". I
said, ce Those things that grow on old ladies' toes."
After a bit Tommy said, " Bunions must rather
impede the Pilgrim's Progress! "
After two days we had to return to London as I
and everyone else had to work. Occasionally, when
I had time, I thought of love and wondered if
ever I would fall in love again. There seemed
so much to do and so many amusing people about,
one had no time to concentrate on such a serious
We still went to the Cafe Royal in the evenings
and then after to the Eiffel Tower. Horace Cole